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What is a Modem?

Previous tutorials are listed in the left column.

Modems, Routers and Firewalls

A Modem is an electronic device which connects your computer to a telephone line or a cable line. The modem is connected via a DSL (digital subscriber line) service. Example: Verizon, Aol, Charter ect. The modem has your telephone line or cable connected to it then a cable called an Ethernet cable connected to your computer. This will allow you to connect to anything or place on the internet.

A Router is a device which allows you to connect several computers to it. The router would be connected between the modem and your computers. When you connect a router after your modem the router has several jacks in the front or back of it that will allow you to connect up to 4 or 5 separate computers to it, depending on the type of modem you purchases. Another type of modem is a wi/fi modem. A wi/fi modem (wireless modem) works in the same way. Your cable or phone line connected to your modem then an ethernet cable connected to your wi/fi modem. You can recognize a wi/fi modem by the antenna attached to it. Wi/fi modems also have several jacks available to use. These jacks are used to connect other computers and device to them. Example: you can setup your wi/fi modem next to the main computer in your house and use the wi/fi for computers in other rooms or for laptops and hand held devices. Your main computer can simply be plugged directly into the jack in the modem itself. When connected a wireless device to the modem, most modems require you connect the device such as a laptop directly into the modem and allow the modem to recognize the laptop. This is done for security reasons so unauthorized personnel can’t get access to your wi/fi network. Your wi/fi modem will come with a code called a passphrase. Use the cable that comes with the modem and connect your computer to the modem and Modems, Routers and Firewalls then enter the passphrase given. Then you can disconnect your laptop and your wireless network will be all set.

A firewall is a software program which is part of your operating systems. NT, Vista, Windows 7 ect. This firewall is turned on by default. The firewall is software programs which monitor incoming and outgoing information. The purpose of the firewall is to block unwanted programs such as malware, spyware, trojans and viruses. These programs are designed by hackers trying to get information from your computer or to do damage to your computer like destroy programs and possible completely destroy your computer. Microsoft looks for the dangerous programs and updates there list regularly. You can get these updates from Microsoft by simply going to your control panel and clicking on updates. Once in the update file you should make sure that your updates are set to update automatically. Then when Microsoft finds a new malicious program it will update your firewall automatically and the firewall will block this program from entering your computer and doing any damage.

So in conclusion you must have a modem to connect to the internet, but you only need a router if you have multiple computers to connect or you need wireless connection inside your home. A fire wall is a must, without a firewall you computer will be attacked by these malicious programs. As Virus protections is an added protection. Virus protection is a program you buy usually is valid for one year and will cost about $60 or 70% dollars for the year. This program works in tandem with your firewall. MacAfee, Norton and many other companies sell virus protection. These companies also work very hard to find Malware, Viruses and Trojan programs on the internet all trying to get private information or damage your system. There are million upon millions of these malicious programs on the internet. So the more protection you have the safer your computer will be. With a good firewall and a good virus protection program downloaded to your computer it will keep you as safe as you can possibly be.

Note: Your firewall can also prevent your computer from sending spam emails from your computer. Some of these programs that hackers use will enter your computer and attack your email program. What these hackers do is use your computer and email to send out thousands or even millions of spam emails to everyone on the internet. This will dramatically slow down your computer and also when people receive these spam email and they investigate where the email is coming from it will point back to you, possibly putting your email and name on a black list of spammers. And this list is very hard to get your name off of. Your firewall can be set up to block this action from happening.


For other articles also see previous tutorials.